If you’re tired of battling the crowds to celebrate New Year’s Eve, hosting a party at home might be the answer.
Having a party at home is a great, no-fuss way to ring in the New Year. Best of all, you won’t be struggling to find a cab home in the wee hours of the morning.
While it may be the “easier” option, there are still some important party-host details to consider. AEG ambassador, Mark Best, and young aspiring cook, Brendan Pang, share their insider tips for creating the perfect at-home New Year’s Eve party, covering everything from food prep to the all-important playlist.
It’s always important to plan your menu in advance and prep early.
"To help relieve the stress of hosting a New Year’s Eve party, plan your menu around dishes you can put together easily before your guests sit down," Brendan says.
Playing host can be fun, but not if you’re stuck in the kitchen the entire time.
“Create a menu that’s easy to make and easy to eat. Ensure you have a great combination of canapés and small meals. My personal favourite is parsnip and parsley root fritters with coriander yoghurt - a perfect little entrée that is adaptable to many different ingredients,” Mark explains.
Brendan also suggests making use of seasonal ingredients and keeping it simple.
“A grazing platter or table is easy to put together and will impress your guests. You can have this ready upon their arrival and have a selection of delicious canapés to go out at the same time,” Brendan says.
Preparing the beverage menu can seem overwhelming, but there are some things that are a must-have.
“I like to provide an array of drinks from white wines to boutiques beers, and of course, champagne is essential at every New Year’s Eve party! Spice it up with a DIY drinks station with cocktails jugs – a classic martini with watermelon and olive garnish will be sure to quench your guests' thirst,” Mark says.
“Use fruit that is seasonal and make some delicious cocktails with some sparkling. Raspberry, mint and prosecco is a great combination. You can’t go wrong with a jug of Pimms, especially during the summer season,” Brendan adds.
Although the decorating will be largely dependent on your theme, if you have one, Mark says to remember that less is more.
“Let the food do the talking. Simple florals, mood lighting and beautiful glassware and cutlery will set the scene. If you’re opting more a more relaxed and casual atmosphere, opt for a grazing table or shared feast with large platters, timber boards and marble plates,” Mark suggests.
Brendan says that styling is a way you can make your guests feel special, too.
“This can be as simple as lighting some candles, including native floral arrangements in your space and organising some nice tableware,” Brendan says.
The tunes are an important part of any party, so make sure you’ve got a great playlist at the ready.
“I like to prepare my playlist well in advance and include a mix of both new and old music to ensure everyone is happy," Brendan says. "Taking requests from your guests also gives them the opportunity to contribute to the party."